Nightly News   |  August 17, 2013

Most dangerous US wildfire burns through Idaho

The fire is tearing across the state. Nearly 100,000 acres have burned already. Now the flames threaten 1,600 homes. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> new battle is being waged in central idaho tonight against a massive wildfire not far from the sun valley resort. it's just one of several fires burning in idaho , while dozens more are raging throughout the west. nbc's miguel almaguer is near haley, idaho , for us tonight.

>> reporter: kate, good evening. some 700 firefighters are staging here tonight, many p of them coming from out of state, many of them camping right here about a mile from the fire's front lines . this t is a massive operation just to get this fire partly contained. the most dangerous wildfire burning in the country, tearing across idaho , exploding in size overnight, nearly 100,000 acres up in smoke. a wall of fast-moving flames now threatening 1600 homes, the national guard deployed to help thousands evacuate as this massive inferno closes in on three communities, including the sun valley ski resort .

>> just me, the lord and a garden hose .

>> reporter: mike wild saved his home but lost his shed.

>> i jumped into the roof and just basically consumed it in five to eight minutes.

>> reporter: facing extreme fire behavior and rugged terrain, the air attack in idaho is critical. the beaver creek fire is feeding on forest lond r land, difficult for ground times to reach. through the smoke and haze, it's unclear how many homes have been lost.

>> it's scary. the air quality is enough reason to get out of town.

>> reporter: the fire fight across the west is heating up, 34 fires in 11 states. light p ning has sparked many of them, including utah's patch springs fire burning outside salt lake city , destroying ten homes. in northern california , near lake tahoe , another blaze proving tough to contain and reach.

>> remember that it is just very steep terrain, very difficult to get in there.

>> reporter: another difficult and dangerous summer weekend for thousands of firefighters on the front lines . with ten major wildfires burning in idaho alone, this fire only 6% contained. overnight winds are not expected to help. kate?